Response to Sarah Wilson’s article, ‘Why you shouldn’t be drinking almond milk’

Dear Sarah,

Your recent post, ‘Sorry, but you shouldn’t be drinking almond milk’ needs addressing as it is very misleading. I didn’t really want to link back to Sarah’s site but in fairness of responding here is the original article:

http://www.sarahwilson.com/2016/03/sorry-but-you-shouldnt-be-drinking-almond-milk/

So Sarah, please find my response to your article. I understand that you are sponsored by the meat and dairy industry but I do hope people are able to see through this.

1. The water

According to Sarah it takes 5 litres of water to grow one almond. However, did you realise Sarah that it takes approximately 1,000 litres of water to produce 1 litre of cow’s milk? And you are a big supporter of dairy in your diet I understand.

 2. The waste

Sarah talks about the almond meal that is thrown out when buying commercial almond milk. I have not had the opportunity to speak to companies regarding this however if this is a concern then you can make your own almond milk and re-use the pulp. Here are some examples of what to do with it:

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/what-to-do-with-leftover-almond-pulp/

 When I make my own almond milk, it is mainly for cereal and I keep the pulp in it! No wastage in this house.

 3. The carbon footprint

Sarah refers to the fact that most almonds are grown in the USA and that the air-miles plus packaging is an environmental disaster.

I think you will find Sarah that promoting meat eating on your website is much more of an environmental disaster and has a much bigger carbon footprint. Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation. Not only this but animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually. Much more than growing almonds I would say.

 4. The dose of additives

Sarah states that most brands of almond milk are ‘packed with thickeners, emulsifiers, sugars, and other crap stuff’. I actually agree with this point and I am very particular what products I buy (see my recent post here on carageenan)

If you are going to buy Almond Milk I recommend this company as their products contain no nasties. There are only four ingredients:

http://www.pureharvest.com.au/products/activated-almond-milk/

 5. The nutritional value

Sarah claims most brands only contain 2% almonds. I therefore suggest that you either make your own or purchase Pure Harvest (as above) which contains 10% activated almonds. Their product is also vegan, gluten free, organic, GMO free and contains no artificial colours or flavours or cane sugar. If you make your own you also know exactly what you are getting.

 6. The price

Sarah mentions that almond milk is very expensive ranging from $2.99-$7.99. Pure Harvest, one of the best brands in the marketplace retails in the supermarket at $3.39/litre. I would suggest that is a very competitive price but if you don’t want to pay this, make your own. At $27/kg for conventional almonds and approximately $35/kg for organic almonds, when you use 1 cup almonds to make 1 litre almond milk this is still very good value.

 

In conclusion, Sarah has entitled her article with a very misleading headline, probably to gain the attention and coverage that it did. Sarah does raise some interesting points but these can be resolved by choosing your brand carefully or making your own almond milk. I think Sarah also forgot to add the health impact of dairy which is now proven in many studies. A 2014 study published in the British Journal of Medicine showed that women who consumed a diet with a high intake of cow’s milk, had an increased risk of bone fractures and death from heart disease and cancer. I know what I’d rather be drinking.

If you want to make your own almond milk, here is the recipe. Enjoy whilst being guilt free!

N.B-Environmental resources: http://www.cowspiracy.com/

28 thoughts on “Response to Sarah Wilson’s article, ‘Why you shouldn’t be drinking almond milk’”

  1. Thankyou a voice of reason. Almond milk is so easy to make, no waste, perfect for anything that you coukd use cows milk for. Im disappointed that Sarah would use her position to be anti- almond.

    1. Thanks Pollyanna. Yes, it is very disappointing that someone with that kind of following would use a sensational headline like that to grab attention. Nut milks are so easy to make.

  2. There are always two sides. On the topic of wastage though, I feel the deliberate and systemic killing of bobby calves in the production of milk for human consumption is of far greater concern than the wastage of almond pulp.

      1. ‘The systemic killing of bobby calves’ is about as much of a blanket and sensationalised statement as Sarah Wilsons heading…. I know of a lot of Dairys who grow out all of their calves – heifer and bull calves.

        1. Thanks for the comment Jess. I am not sure anyone made such a blanket statement but I imagine the % is very high unfortunately. In Australia it is about 450,000 calves that are destined for slaughter each year.

    1. Yes, absolutely and definitely agree with her on that one as I stated. However, the title is very misleading and she does say at the end: Just eat the nut. And a glass of water.

  3. Well done for your intellectual and comprehensive approach to a media dramatized article (arguably by a media well you know the rest)!

    Well stated and well done again Melanie on an exceptional blog!

  4. Oh I love this…. wonderful call out!

    Pure Harvest is my favourite as I had done research on my nut milks many months ago and found it to be the best.

    An extra point I must make to this is that the government legally allows a number of pus and blood cells in dairy milk… definitely not something I would want to be ingesting…and yes this is happening in Australia!

    I also agree with Karin, the killing of unwanted calves far outweighs the wastage of biodegradable almond pulp as an issue.

    Great response Melanie, thank you for posting

    1. Thanks for the comment Beks. Pure Harvest is great isn’t it? There is so much confusing information out there, I’m glad you’ve done your research. It is very worrying what is allowed in dairy milk and best avoided as far as I am concerned for the health of us, the animals and the planet. We just don’t need it.

  5. Thankyou for the recipes about what to do with the pulp.I have been making my own milk for a couple of years now and always feel bad if i throw the pulp away.

    1. Absolutely. Good for us to agree on that point. I don’t agree on the sensational misleading headline and the other information which is invalid when you consider Sarah is a big supporter of us all consuming milk from cows.

  6. Id really like to read the 2014 British Journal of Medicine Study you mention. Could you provide the title of the paper and possibly a link? Thank you 🙂

  7. The information isn’t misleading at all, it’s just that the two posters have differing points of view. So it isn’t clearing up misinformation, it’s more bashing someone who doesn’t think the same. Ridiculous.

    1. Thanks for the comment Brenda, I welcome all views and feedback on this. The title is very misleading once you uncover what she really means and the fact that she is pro-dairy means her information re almonds is really worthless. I am all about providing the correct facts to people to make their own minds up

  8. Thanks for providing the ‘voice of reason’ to an article chasing views and skipping important comparative facts. Recently began making almond milk and not looking back.

  9. Love Love LOVE!!!! I often see articles like the one Sarah has written and I just cringe, as both a plant-based eater, environmentally conscious woman and university qualified Nutritionist there is SO MUCH MISINFORMATION out there!!! This hit the nail on the head and I am smiling for ear to ear! You made my day, keep up the amazing work!!! xx

    1. Thanks Jacs. Am so pleased to read your message, thank you. I really believe we need to clearup the mis-information and click bait information that is out there. I believe in truth and honesty for people to make their own minds up about things.

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